Former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal feels that Jose Mourinho boosted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s success with the work he had done for the Premier League club.
Since the Norwegian took over as United’s interim boss in December, Solskjaer has seen ten victories in 13 EPL clashes, putting the Red Devils in contention of finishing in the top four. United have also qualified for the quarterfinals of UEFA Champions League with a miraculous comeback against Paris Saint Germain in the second leg.
Van Gaal, who was replaced by Mourinho in 2016, said in an interview to BBC, “The way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played. It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.”
“Solskjaer has just lost twice and he has to manage that. It is very important that Manchester United qualifies for the Champions League. As it was when I was manager.”
Giving credit to Mourinho for United’s current form, Van Gaal added, “But they can also win the Champions League because they play a defensive system and it is very difficult to beat them, which, whether you like it or not, is the result of Mourinho’s work.”
Van Gaal, however, bashed United’s executive vice-chairman for contacting Mourinho during his coaching days in Manchester and not being told about the same for six months. “What I don’t like is Ed Woodward contacting my successor, knowing in his mind he will replace me and he keeps his mouth shut for six months,” Van Gaal said. “Every Friday I had to go into press conferences and be asked what I thought about the rumours. What does that do to the authority of the coach?
Van Gaal was replaced at the end of his second season, immediately after winning the FA Cup. “To win the FA Cup when, for six months, the media has a noose around my neck, is my biggest achievement. I spoke to Woodward the day after that game. His argument was that I was only going to be there for one more year and Mourinho would be there for three, four or five. I appreciate he hired a private plane to get me back to Portugal but his arguments were not good enough.”